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Non-soy protein sources????

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Does anyone have recommendations for non-soy based protein sources that are easy to obtain and prepare????  

I am so tired of forcing myself to consume poultry and fish.  First off, I don't love the taste of it and secondly, I am uncomfortable eating animals......

I am willing to continue to consume eggs (cage free), but dairy can be tricky; too much and I have gastrointestinal issues.  I've been drinking/using almond milk recently (switched over from soy due to recent research about thyroid problems and cancer linked to consumption of too much soy)

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I use seed flours, hempseed and flax meal.  They're pretty much protein, fiber and omega3/6 fatty acids.  I use them to make pancakes and I add 2 eggs to the batter, which is an easy way to boost my protein + fiber.  You can also use nut butters/seed butters. 

Try eating aged cheeses- they have less lactose.

If you don't have an issue with wheat, vital wheat gluten or 'meat' made from It (seitan) are very high in protein.

Also, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powders, eggs, etc.
Copied from my post on the foods forum:

Plant Based (Vegetarian) Sources

Beans Legumes (ie: lentils, split peas) Soy-based products (tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk) Seitan (wheat gluten protein) TVP (textured vegetable protein) Whole grains (Quinoa is the highest grain source of protein. Others, like rice, are low.) Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc) Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia, hemp, etc) Seaweed Nutritional Yeast Vegan protein powders (sourced from rice, soy, beans, hemp, etc).

Thanks!  I'll do some research (recipes, etc.) and check out my local health food joints for the above mentioned products.  

Quorn makes some delicious faux meat products that are not made from soy.  We enjoy a lot of nuts, seeds, and nut butters too.  Beans are a staple in our diet, also don't forget that whole grains and steel cut oats are chocked full of protein too.

Almond milk! :D Love it!


Homemade seitan boiled in no-chicken broth is also yummy.

Original Post by steph132:

Almond milk! :D Love it!

Not a source of protein.

I found some "chicken" salad that is made from wheat protein in a natural deli that is really quite good.  My NP (she specializes in nutrition and is helping me with my bulimic behaviors) also recommends whey protein powder, beans/legumes, etc. (not soy though) since I'd really like to quit eating dead animals.  I wasn't eating eggs because my Dad just buys whatever is cheapest.  I prefer cage free eggs from chickens that don't get pumped full of weird antibiotics/growth hormones, etc.  So, I bought some finally and even labeled them as MINE!

Does anyone know of good vegetarian cookbooks that have easy and quick recipes????  I have "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian", and while it is a huge book with lots of recipes, many are quite complicated and require a lot of prep work, etc.

I use hemp protein in my smoothies with almond milk.  I also eat Quorn products which are made from a fungus/mushroom lots of protein.  Very nommy.

Well if you want to cut out eggs, when baking you can use flax meal or bananas. 

But as for non-soy protein, beans, beans, beans! I make my own bean veggie burgers in bulk then freeze them. Black, kidney, garbanzos, and lentils make up a huge portion of my diet. 

Have you ever picked up an issue on VegNews? It's a great vegan magazine with awesome recipes, many soy-free. 

I also avoid soy due to thyroid med issues when I was consuming it.  As a vegan I rely heavily on beans/legumes as well.  I also eat a variety of whole raw nuts and seeds daily, and I concentrate on unrefined whole grains that pack a nutritional punch and include a higher protein source, such as quinoa, millet, wild rice, oats, whole buckwheat groats.  I use pea protein or hemp protein powders on occasion but do not rely on them every day.  If I do make my own bread (I very rarely buy it), I might add vital wheat gluten and use spelt or whole wheat flour.

I love lentils (red, brown) or split peas (green, yellow) because they are so versatile.  You can make soup with them, burgers, casseroles and dahls, add them to baked goods, sprout them raw and add to salads for crunch and protein, make a mock meatloaf, the possibilities are endless. 

All my cookbooks are vegan, not vegetarian, but I like "Veganomicon" the best.  I also have a handy book called "The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions" by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman.  This book has gluten free, soy free, and other options for those with allergies, and shows you how to substitute for recipes that call for eggs and other animal products.  I have made some amazing and creative dishes by exploring many plant foods that can easily take the place of eggs, dairy, or meat.  I discovered coconut milk this way lol.  I can make a great whipped cream with it.  Cashews can be used for alfredo sauce or a raw cream tart or hard "cheese".   White beans can be used to make high protein energy bars or a healthy thick high protein gravy to pour over vegetables.  These are just a few examples.  Hope this helps!

Oh, and there are some good vegetarian/vegan blogs out there like "nomeatathlete", "vegweb", "ohsheglows", and many others with great recipes.  I have a whole binder of recipes collected just from visiting blogs.  My greatest successes with cooking and baking have come from visiting blogs and getting ideas. 

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The best non-soy protein I've found so far is quinoa. It's highly versatile ( I've used it for cereal, salads, chilies, and just steamed with veggies), has great texture, and counts as both a grain and a protein. If you want some recipes or have any questions, let me know :) PS you HAVE to rinse it before you cook it.
If you're not vegan, whey protein is an easy way to get protein. I use a scoop in my coffee pot after it's cooled a little. It has 26 gm! I prefer the unflavored one. There are many brands out there to pick from. I prefer the one made by our local Natural food store, Raisin Rack.
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Chick peas (sometimes referred to as garbanzo beans) are a great source of protein and much more easily digested than other beans. I use them as a base for a delicious chick pea "stew" or just toss cold into a leafy green salad with your favorite dressing.

If you're switching from meat to veggie protein for health reasons I would strongly recommend buying dry beans instead of canned. There's less waste in the packaging (although they are in plastic bags) and the bag will yield at least three times as many beans as you will find in a similarly sized can of beans. With dry beans you also will be able to better control the sodium content and reduce exposure to BPA which could leach from cans to contaminate the food within. One thing to keep in mind with dry beans is that you will need to soak them before cooking and cooking time is increased. I usually keep some beans soaking in the fridge so that I can choose my bean of the day.

Lentils are another good source but they take a while to prepare as well. However there are so many variety of lentil that the options are limitless. I would recommend lentil shopping at an international market or ethnic food store. There you will find many many more different kinds of lentils that aren't stocked in the typical grocery.

Black rice is another sneaky source of protein (and a good source for a ton of other trace minerals). It's not usually at the larger chain supermarkets but I buy it from a local ethnic grocery store. It's flavor is completely unlike white or other whole grain rice, its rather nutty and slightly chewy so put aside your preconceived notions of "rice" if you decide to try it. It doesn't have an overwhelming amount of protein (a similar sized serving as a chicken breast would be less than half the protein) but when paired with beans, some veggies and a healthy source of fat (olive or coconut oul) then it's nearly a complete meal!

I went vegetatian for health reasons 8+ years ago (I've lost track of time, LOL) for health reasons and earlier this year was diagnosed with a rare vascular issue which made it ideal that I had already modified my eating habits and imperative that I maintain low cholesterol. When I first stopped eating meat it wasn't because my own health was immediately at risk but after my father died from complications of heart disease and my step father lost a leg to artherosclerosis. I definitely didn't make the best nutritional decisions early on in my transition but blamed meat alone for their health problems. It took a while for me to realize that being vegetarian didn't mean just not eating meat but it also and more importantly meant finding good protein substitutes.

So good for you to reach out and ensure that you're making a healthy transition in your decision to reduce or eliminate meat intake. You will find some that are very "opinionated" on both sides of the fence. Meat eaters are often offended when they eat with a vegetarian. And a vegetarian who chooses not to eat meat for animal rights reasons can be really condeming to those who chose to eat meat. So its sometimes hard to find people in the middle that won't be judgemental if you choose to eat meat but will be supportive and encouraging if you choose not to. Be prepared for meat eaters (even the best intentioned) to expect that a suitable substitute for a vegetarian meal as "you're a vegetarian, well we have salad". I wish you well and good luck!
Quinoa (other than soy) is the only other plant based "complete protein" having all 9 essential amino acids and cooked in veggie broth with vegetables, nuts, spices and fresh herbs added, I find to be delicious! :-)

(Since u don't like soy, u probably don't like tofu, but give the firmer darker type tofu a try found in Asian supermarkets. They usually only carry the mushy kind in regular grocery stores and I personally don't care for it.)
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Get yourself one of those tofu presses. I love mine and it helps to take a lot of that mushieness out of it.

My favorite cookbook is Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone." Every chapter starts with a general "how to" about the food (greens, soups, squash, etc.) so that you build a base of knowledge about it without always needing a recipe, and the recipes themselves are great.

Also you can sign up for different newsletters at Vegetarian Times.

A vegan acquaintance told me about a book that she considered to be an excellent resource for learning how to combine non-meat foods (like beans, corn, etc.) to build complete proteins: Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe'

I picked up a couple of used copies for vegan friends and reviewed it for myself. It seems like it would be quite useful in overcoming the specific challenges you mentioned.

Good luck!

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Here are a few complete protien non animal sources, complete protein being one that supplies adaquete levels of all 9 essential amino acids.

Quinoa, Amaranth, Chia seeds, and Buckwheat.

Also Almonds and peanuts complement each other to form a complete protien. In other words one is low in some amino acids and high in the other but together they


Have you seen Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live?  In the book he has information on how all vegetables are made of protein, carbs and fat.  Green veggies are higher in protein.  Broccoli is almost 50% protein.  He says a pound of broccoli has more protein than a pound of steak.  Of course a pound of broccoli is a lot of broccoli.  So you have to eat lots of veggies but they are low in calories and will fill you up.  Kale, lettuces, and spinach are all good sources.  Eating a couple of large salads with some ground flax seeds or walnuts and some beans will give you a more nutrient dense meal per calorie. You will get protein as well as lots of phytonutrients.  Most people discount vegetable protein because they say that it is incomplete, not having all the amino acids.  But Dr. Fuhrman says that if you eat a variety of veggies including lots of greens ones (salad) and eat a cup of beans a day, and an ounce of nuts or seeds you will get plenty of protein and you will lose weight.  You do have to supplement with B12 if you are not eating animal protein.  Here's to health!

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